Creating Space 2021
A juried group exhibition of fine art in all media
The Plastic Club
247 South Camac Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
September 12 – 22, 2021
Sunday, September 12
2:00-5:00 P.M. EST
Exhibited Work: Unconscious Voices
There are many ways to think about creating space in our everyday life: Consider people moving objects – like chairs, tables – so there is more room; shoving over when sitting on a bench or a chair to let others sit or stand like on the bus or watching a rock concert; demolishing a building so other buildings or open spaces can replace it; dynamiting a mountain to build a road or tunnel; exploring other planets so we can ease overcrowding on earth; pruning a field or garden to let in the sunshine; letting out the hem or waistline of a dress so clothes can fit the bigger body; leaving spaces between letters or lines; compacting the trash so more garbage can fit in; the list goes on and on.
Broadly speaking, space as an element is the area between, around, below, above, or within positive subjects. There are many ways of creating space in 2-dimensional artforms which make it a key element of the artwork: the edges; the active and varied linework against a large area of space; or a subject that looks out into our space or gestures into our space. This exhibition highlights how imagination can roam on ways we make space for each other or ourselves.
The term “Plastic” refers to the “plastic” arts — malleable, changeable, and ever-in-progress work. From the beginning, the Club has been a home to artists of all media including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, fiber arts, and more.
The Plastic Club was founded in 1897 by a group of professional women artists at a time when already existing art clubs in the city were only open to men. The founders of the Plastic Club wanted a place for artists to meet, exchange ideas, and exhibit their work. The club served this purpose for almost 100 years. Then in the 1990s when many of the barriers between the traditional activities of men and women were being broken, like many other clubs and organizations, the Plastic Club opened to everyone. Since then, men have played an equal role in all the activities of the club; running workshops, exhibiting, serving on the board, and holding office. Today, in a building purchased through member fundraising in 1909, the original mission of The Plastic Club continues. Currently, it offers several drawing sessions every week and a print-making session on Saturdays to its membership and the public. In recent years it has added a monthly film night and occasional programs of dance, music, and poetry, to its traditional salons, lectures, and dinners.
Scott Noel is a Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts instructor who exhibits throughout the local area including at Gross McLeaf Gallery. “Scott Noel began teaching and exhibiting in Philadelphia in 1980, after completing undergraduate study at Washington University in Saint Louis in 1978. Since that time he has mounted over 30 solo exhibitions at galleries, universities, and museums as well as many group shows. Solo shows have appeared at the State Museum in Harrisburg, the University of Virginia, the Bowery Gallery, the Painting Center, and fifteen exhibitions at the More Gallery, Mangel Art Gallery, and Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia.
Noel has curated exhibitions for museums, including The Evidence of the Senses at the Woodmere Art Museum in 1990 and Imaginative Affinities: Echoes of Edwin Dickinson in Contemporary American Painting at PAFA in 2002. He has also written catalog essays for peers and forbears, including Lennart Anderson, Larry Day, Rose Naftulin, and Sangram Majumdar.
Noel’s paintings are included in numerous private, public and corporate collections. He has received grants from the Bader Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Independence Foundation as well as a fellowship to the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. His work has been reviewed in Arts and Art in America and he has twice been profiled in American Artist.